The Tropics Meet The Arctic

Coconut Aqpik cookies_n

Sometimes a small batch of cookies is all you need. These thumbprint cookies combine the creamy sweetness of Arctic cloudberries with the tropical essence of coconut in an airy confection.

Sorry to temp you with a berry that rarely sees a latitude much south the Arctic Circle. Our favorite berry has yet to be cultivated on any large scale as far as we know, but almost any jam could serve as a substitute in these cookies. Perhaps there is an equivalent rare berry from another interesting part of the world you could taunt us back with?

Read more at Cloudberry Country, Cloudberry Freezer JamCloudberry Cake,  and Cloudberry Sorbet.

Coconut Aqpik Thumbprints

Ingredients

  • 1/4 lb. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp water (egg wash)
  • 1/3 cup coconut flakes
  • cloudberry jam (or jam of your choice)

Directions

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar.
  2. Mix in vanilla.
  3. With mixer on low speed, slowly add flour and salt to butter mixture. Mix until dough comes together.
  4. Roll dough into about 1-inch balls.
  5. Get a bowl ready with egg wash and a plate ready with coconut flakes.
  6. Dip each ball into egg wash.
  7. Roll each ball in coconut.
  8. Place each cookie on parchment-lined baking sheet.
  9. Press an indentation into each cookie. I used the handle end of a silverware knife.
  10. Fill each indentation with jam.
  11. Bake cookies for 20 – 25 minutes, until coconut is golden brown.
  12. Cool and serve.

Makes 15 cookies.

Homemade Cloudberry Syrup – For Belgian Waffles and Italian Sodas

Although ripe cloudberries are golden amber in color, the syrup they produce is a luminescent dark pink. Thick and flavorful, mixed with carbonated water, the syrup makes refreshing Italian sodas. This morning, it topped our Belgian waffles.

We’ve already turned about 20 pounds of freshly picked cloudberries (click here to see cloudberry photos) into two kinds of jam as well as sorbet. Our most recent venture out on the tundra yielded another eight pounds that I hadn’t counted on. When I asked a berry-picking friend what she thought I should make, she enthusiastically replied, “Syrup!”

The syrup, which is easy to make, turned out a beautiful dark pink color. I hadn’t expected this because the fruit I started with was a lovely salmon color. The seeds seemed to color the juice. I made freezer jam with the remaining pulp in order to save every luscious part of the berries. I thought if the “pulp jam” didn’t look good, it could still be used as a key ingredient in fruit breads. Any kind of berries could be used to make this syrup with an adjustment to the amount of sugar used.

Aqpik (Cloudberry) Syrup

Ingredients: (Yields 4 cups syrup)

  • 10 cups of berries
  • 4 cups of water
  • 3 cups granulated sugar

Directions

  1. Place berries and water in a large pot. Cook on medium high heat.
  2. Boil berries for about 15 minutes.
  3. Line a strainer with cheesecloth. Elevate strainer over a bowl so that syrup can drain through cheesecloth and into the bowl. (I used a strainer that stands by itself set on a wire cooling rack set on a large mixing bowl.)
  4. Place berries in pot and puree them using an immersion or stick blender.
  5. Pour pureed berries and all liquids from pot into cheesecloth lined strainer.
  6. Let berries sit in strainer for at least two hours to drain off liquid.
  7. Take the liquid that has drained into the large mixing bowl and put it in a pot.
  8. Add sugar to the pot.
  9. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until syrup boils.
  10. Skim off any foam and discard.
  11. Pour juice into canning jars to freeze or into decorative bottles to refrigerate.